Christmas: Six part harmony

Today’s post comes from Frank Turk of  …and his ministers a flame of fire and Pyromaniacs

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

For to which of the angels did God ever say,

    “You are my Son, today I have begotten you”? Or again, “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son”?

And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says,

    “Let all God’s angels worship him.”

Of the angels he says,

    “He makes his angels winds, and his ministers a flame of fire.”

But of the Son he says,

    “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”

Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to her. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But Mary was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”

And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy–the Son of God. … For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”

And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

    “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).

When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son.

A decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. (this fulfilled what the prophet Micah had said, “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.” And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

And at the end of eight days, when [the child] was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

(they said this because the prophet Balaam saw that it pleased the LORD to bless Israel, and he did not go, as at other times, to look for omens, but set his face toward the wilderness. And Balaam lifted up his eyes and saw Israel camping tribe by tribe. And the Spirit of God came upon him, and he took up his discourse and said,

    “I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near: a star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel;”


After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.


Q. 72. What is the reason annexed to the fifth commandment?

A. The reason annexed to the fifth commandment is a promise of long life and prosperity (as far as it shall serve God’s glory and their own good), to all such as keep this commandment.

“Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise),  “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”
Ephesians 6:2-3

When I was a son with my father,
tender, the only one in the sight of my mother,
he taught me and said to me,
“Let your heart hold fast my words;
keep my commandments, and live.
Proverbs 4:3-4

Warnings Against Adultery
My son, keep your father’s commandment,
and forsake not your mother’s teaching.
Bind them on your heart always;
tie them around your neck.
When you walk, they will lead you;
when you lie down, they will watch over you;
and when you awake, they will talk with you.
Proverbs 6:20-22

Frenetic Friday!

Gather around friends it is the last Frenetic Friday of the year!  Yes it is late, yes there are four shopping days left until Christmas, and yes the Red Ryder BB Gun can still be bought!  But despite all of that Duck Dynasty is on everyone’s mind!  Frankly smarter people than I have commented on this issue and I invite you to read what Albert Mohler has written on the Duck Dynasty Controversy.  By the way if your not listening to the Briefing, Albert Mohler’s podcast, then you are missing out on one of the best Christian commentary on culture there is.

And one las thing re Duck Dynasty:

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.  1Corinthinans 6:9-11 ESV

This is something the Church has always believed it is only those that deny the authority of scripture and the inspiration of scripture that you get a different belief.

Switching gears  you remember Jean Claude Van Damme’s awesome split right?  Well the man that has a fist for a chin has decided to show him how it is done and to wish us a Merry Christmas at the same time.

How do you top that I ask you?

In news of our Robotic Overlords Amazon wants to deliever packages by drones.

Well not to be topped by that Google has acquired another robotic company, the eighth one!  Yes Google has bought Boston Dynamics the makers of BigDog, Cheetah, Wildcat and Atlas.  What is Google going to do with all these robots?  Now there is the question!

You’ve seen them on Jimmy Fallon and maybe you’ve even worn one a time or two but here it is the evolution of the Ugly Christmas Sweater the penultimate hideousness!

And with that bit of hideousness I bid you good night!

Earworm Wednesday: Bing Crosby/Rosemary Clooney Good King Wenceslas


Okay a little back story Good King Wenceslas was published in 1853 by John Mason Neale the tune is a Finnish song “the time is near for flowering” which was published 300 years previous.

The song tells the tale of King Wenceslas who standing by his window on St. Stephen’s feast day (December 26) sees a peasant searching for firewood in the deep snow.  He calls his page to him and inquires as to where the peasant lives.  Finding that he lives “a good league hence” (roughly 3.4 miles) near Saint Agnes’ fountain in the woods.  Taking provisions and firewood the King and page set out into the storm where the page begins to falter and tells the king that he can’t go on.  The king tells the page to step where he steps and the cold will be abated the page does so and finds that where the saint has walked the ground is heated.

The real Wenceslas was a 10th century Duke (not a king) of Bohemia who was a Christian and spread the Christian faith through his country until he was murdered by his brother.  Wenceslas is the patron saint of Czech Republic.


Q. 71. What is forbidden in the fifth commandment?

A. The fifth commandment forbids the neglecting of, or doing anything against the honor and duty which belongs to every one in their several places and relations.

The eye that mocks a father
and scorns to obey a mother
will be picked out by the ravens of the valley
and eaten by the vultures.
Proverbs 30:17

Pay to all what is owed to them:taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.
Romans 13:7-8


Frank Moses is trying to live the good life.  He hasn’t killed any one lately and is trying to make a life with girlfriend Sarah Ross.  Enter Marvin, Frank’s paranoid friend, who tries to convince Frank that someone is after them.  Frank isn’t having any of it, he wants to live the quiet life with Sarah.  Marvin finally leaves  only to have his car explode in a ball of flame.

Sarah devastated that Marvin is dead (even if Frank doesn’t believe it)  makes Frank go to the funeral.  There he is handcuffed and forced to go to a facility where they question him about one of his only failures as an agent.  While there a hit squad led by Jack Horton kills most if not all of the facility’s employees until he finds Frank.  He then tells Frank that he will torture Sarah until Frank gives up all he knows about operation Nightshade.   Frank escapes and it is time to get the gang back together again as they go on a whirlwind of laughs and violence.

You don’t need to watch RED (Retired Extremely Dangerous) to enjoy this one.  But it helps, To see John Malkovich (Marvin) giving Frank (Bruce Willis) love life advice is priceless especially the look on his face when Frank does the opposite of what he says to do.  But it is even more so when you remember that Marvin is the guy who lives in an under ground bunker that you access through the trunk of a broken down car.

But the absolute best is Helen Mirren as Victoria the best hit person that MI6 ever had until she retired (Oh I still keep my hand in she says) when she is on the screen the fun begins.  However, do keep an eye on Byung-hun Lee as the Korean assassin  he is the Korean Jackie Chan and has the ability to provide humor in amidst extreme action.

This film is violent, so it is for adults and kids no younger than sixteen at the most.  But the black sardonic humor that underlies this movie may not come out for the the sixteen year old crowd.  And there isn’t any-twenty something-teen-fan  actor in this group so the sixteen year old’s interest may not even be there.  Much the better for the adults who may want a movie to watch by themselves.  RED 2 gets four stars out of five.


Q. 70. What is required in the fifth commandment?

A. The fifth commandment requires the preserving the honor, and performing the duties, belonging to every one in their several places and relations, as superiors, inferiors, or equals.

“You shall stand up before the gray head and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God:I am the Lord.”
Leviticus 19:32

Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.
1Peter 2:17

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.
Romans 13:1

submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
Ephesians 5:21-22

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.  Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him.
Ephesians 6:1,5,9

Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.  Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye- service, as people- pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.
Colossians 3:19-22

Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
Romans 12:10